Synthetic biotech company Amyris files Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid organizational & financial restructuring

By Cassandra Stern

- Last updated on GMT

‘Amyris also owns and operates a family of consumer brands that is constantly evolving to meet the growing demand for sustainable, effective and accessible products,’ which will be marketed for sale as part of the restructuring plan. © FuzzMartin Getty Images
‘Amyris also owns and operates a family of consumer brands that is constantly evolving to meet the growing demand for sustainable, effective and accessible products,’ which will be marketed for sale as part of the restructuring plan. © FuzzMartin Getty Images

Related tags Bankruptcy Amyris biotech

The company, which has made significant industry impact through its Lab-to-Market technology leveraging 'state-of-the-art machine learning, robotics and artificial intelligence, enabling the company to rapidly bring new innovation to market at commercial scale,' will continue to operate through the bankruptcy and restructuring process.

Last week, synthetic biotechnology company Amyris formally announced that the company will be moving forward with filing voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and will undergo significant financial restructuring “intended to improve the Company's cost structure, capital structure, and liquidity position while streamlining Amyris' business portfolio to focus on its core competencies in R&D and the scale-up, commercialization, and applications development of its sustainable ingredients derived through biofermentation​,” said a company press release​.  

Amyris, Inc. is known for its Lab-to-Market technology platform and clean beauty B2C brands including hair care product brand JVN, founded by celebrity hair stylist Jonathan Van Ness, textured hair care product brand 4U by Tia, founded by actress Tia Mowry, and personal care product brand Rose Inc., founded by model and actress Rosie Huntington Whiteley. 

The company is now planning to “exit its consumer brands and will begin marketing them for sale, with a view to having these brands continue to leverage its cutting-edge science and technology while under new ownership​,” according to the release.

Confirmed financing through Foris Ventures to continue operations

The planned operational and financial restructuring will be executed to “further advance the company’s ongoing strategic transformation​” with the hopes of repositioning Amyris for long-term industry success.

To facilitate the restructuring plan, the company, and specific domestic subsidiaries excluding entities outside the US will undergo bankruptcy proceedings and have “secured a commitment from an entity affiliated with existing lender Foris Ventures for $190 million of debtor-in-possession ("DIP") financing to support continued day-to-day operations as the Company works with its key stakeholders to negotiate a consensual go-forward plan centered on Amyris' core capabilities​,” shared the release.

The financial backing will allow Amyris to continue to operate its B2C brands during the restructuring process, and further, “will provide liquidity to help fulfill commitments to the Company's valued employees, customers, partners, and vendors​” subject to Court approval and the DIP budget.

CEO/CFO statement on proceedings

Amyris’ legal counsel, Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP, has begun Chapter 11 proceedings by filing a series of “first day” motions including “requests to continue to pay wages and provide benefits to employees as usual and maintain its customer programs and policies​.” Further, Amyris confirmed it “intends to pay vendors in the ordinary course for all goods received and services rendered after the filing​,” shared the press release.

About the restructuring, Interm Amryis CEO and CFO Han Kieftenbeld shared in the company’s statement that “we believe the step forward our company has taken today puts us on the best path to address our financial challenges and achieve a comprehensive solution – rooted in Amyris' ground-breaking science, formulation capabilities, and technology​."

Further, he added, “our aspiration to become the most efficient and productive biotechnology company in our industry has not changed​,” and “at the end of this restructuring process, we believe that Amyris will emerge as a financially stronger company with a more focused business model and well-defined path to profitability​.”

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